City staff have been working diligently to disperse the $992,700 the City received from the State of Washington as part of the federal CARES Act. The City Council decided to divide the money into three separate funds to ensure it could reach as many members of the U.P. community as possible.
- Business Grants: The City’s Economic Development Department distributed a total of 67 grants representing $351,000 to city businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdown. Almost all of those who applied for the grants by the deadline of July 22 received their distributions by July 31. The remaining applicants should receive their grants within the next week.
- Human Services Grants: $100,000 was allotted to assist qualified residents of U.P. who can demonstrate a substantial loss of income due to COVID-19. Grants of up to $3,000 per household can be used to assist with rent, utilities and childcare.
- City-related COVID-19 Expenses: $392,700 was designated to reimburse City taxpayers for expenses incurred by their City government related to COVID-19 response, including personal protective equipment for staff and the public, additional janitorial expenses and supplies, remote work technology, and a portion of salaries associated with individuals tasked with COVID-19 response efforts, including public safety personnel.
The City also teamed up with Pierce County to provide free mobile COVID-19 testing on Aug. 4 at the old Windmill Village site. The County used some of its CARES funds to purchase mobile trailers which were brought to U.P. for this testing. In all, 561 tests were conducted that day, exceeding the average of 500 tests that are usually completed at mobile sites. Thanks to excellent traffic planning by the City’s Public Works Department, there were no back-ups onto main arterials and testers who walked up were able to maintain safe physical distancing.
This event was offered through a partnership between the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and West Pierce Fire & Rescue which provided volunteer assistance from personnel who have been trained through the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program.
Pierce County will continue to conduct free mobile testing at sites throughout the County. For more information, please visit their website.